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Putin's surprising war in Europe

The thing about this war is that nobody saw it coming. Which is a strange thing to say because Putin did not keep it a secret. He told anyone who bothered to listen. Maybe he didn’t mention the logistics of it all but other than that, he never made any secrets about his intentions.

 

A friend from the Balkans once told me about the times when war broke out there. She was still a kid, but she remembers an excitement in the air. An energy that engulfed the whole place. This would eventually be replaced with a cold despair.  This despair would come to define that whole period. I imagine that this is the natural progression of all wars.

I am glad that the people of Ukraine are not being left to fight Putin alone. I am glad that the eastern europen countries have all opened their borders to help refugees.

 

This past week has been surreal. Watching the German parliament in a speacial session yesterday made me feel that something fundamental has changed. There is a mixture of shock and fury at what Putin is doing. And what this might mean for Germany and the whole of Europe.

 

For the period that I have lived here in Germany, I have learned that most Germans are very anti-war. After two world wars, people here have no illusions or romantic visions of war. Watching the live parliamentary session yesterday, one could literally discern the unease accompanying the decision to strengthen the military. Where would it end? They all seemed to be asking themselves.

 

There is no doubt that life is going to be much more difficult and complicated for most people as the sanctions against Putin begin to bite. Just this past week, I fuelled the car for close to 2 Euros per liter. There is every reason to believe that these prices are going to continue rising.

 

Here is to hoping for a quick end to this nightmare and for enough humanitarian aid for all victims of war.

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